Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 121

Boris Yeltsin yesterday also called for the role and functions of Russia’s already powerful Security Council to be strengthened, and tasked the council’s secretary, Aleksandr Lebed, to take the necessary measures. Lebed will also oversee structural and personnel changes. In that vein, Yeltsin issued a decree yesterday reducing the staff of the council to 183 and replaced deputy secretaries Aleksandr Troshin and Vladimir Rubanov with Vladimir Denisov and Sergei Kharlamov. (Itar-Tass, June 25) Rubanov had said confidently only a day earlier that there would be no shake-up of the Security Council’s staff until organizational changes had been approved by the president.

Yeltsin’s apparent intention to concentrate in Lebed’s hands considerable influence over Russian national security policy was suggested in a separate national security message that the Russian president submitted to parliament. (See below) In that document, Yeltsin said that the Security Council would coordinate and oversee the various government ministries and agencies in their implementation of the president’s national security policies. He added that the president’s national security advisor–a post also held by Lebed — would coordinate the efforts of other government leaders "in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of decisions on current questions of national security." (Interfax Special Edition, June 25)

Russian Policy Toward the West.